The Paths of Survival is a poetic exploration of moments in history, examining the fragility of literary culture, both classical and contemporary – and the often surprising means by which it flourishes against all the odds.

Some of the poems included and discussed here have been published previously. Others represent new works-in-progress, offering a new kind of poetic historicism in which ancient texts, translations and versions interact with original contemporary poems to excavate the cultural connections that bind us together across the centuries in often surprising ways.

In particular, The Paths of Survival explores how the long, long passage of time can impact on literary texts, as poets, scholars, editors, librarians – and, of course, readers – respond to the written word, transforming it, both intentionally and unintentionally, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse, but always ensuring it endures.

Josephine Balmer

(The site header image is from a painting of Ashdown forest by Mary Grant)

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